British PM outlines plans to rescue Iraq's Yazidis
UK Prime Minister David Cameron says plans are being devised to rescue civilians trapped by ISIS militants on a mountain in northern Iraq.
“I can confirm that detailed plans are now being put in place and are underway and that Britain will play a role in delivering them,” the British premier said on Wednesday after chairing a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee.
Britain joined the United States in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was carried out to “disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.” No such arms were ever found. The invasion inflicted a major loss upon the lives of Iraqi people.
Since early June 2014, Iraq has faced a brutal offensive by the ISIS across its north and west. However, the crisis has deteriorated in recent weeks, as the militants swept over new towns in the north, forcing members of the minority Christian and Izadi communities out of their homes.
Tens of thousands of Yazadi Kurds escaped to take refuge in the Sinjar Mountain range, becoming trapped for days without food or water.
“Clearly there is an absolutely desperate situation in Iraq, particularly on this mountainside,” Cameron said, adding, “But we need a plan to get these people off that mountain and get them to a place of safety.”
According to reports by British newspapers The Times and The Guardian, British special forces have already arrived in Iraq.
London has also dispatched Tornado fighter jets to Cyprus to be ready if needed to provide surveillance support for the aid effort, while two Chinook helicopters are on standby to help with the humanitarian operation.
Cameron’s office said in a Tuesday statement that Britain has decided to arm Kurdish forces battling ISIS militants by transporting military supplies from other states.
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